Juvenile Rhinobatos Cretaceous Guitarfish Fossil

Rhinobatos hakelensis

Class Chondrichthyes, Order Rajiformes, Family Rhinobatidae

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Middle Cenomanian Stage (93 million years ago)

Size: 49 mm across, 67 mm in length

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatte, Hajoula, Lebanon

Rhinobatos hakelensisDescription: An unusual, rare example of a ray commonly called a guitarfish, this is a well preserved member Rhinobatosknown as Rhinobatos. There are some seven genera and 45 species of extant Rhinobatids, most of which have similar characteristics to this 90 million year old fossil specimen. The extent of preservation is remarkable given it is cartilaginous fish. Additionally, it is entirely natural without painting commonly seen in the fin rays. Typically, all that remains of members of the Chondricthyes are teeth, since they are the only real hard parts of the animal. Preservation such as this is a rare event, particularly given that juveniles have less calcification than adults.

Also see: Class Chondrichthyes Fossils

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